COVID-19: 491 new cases in RI as transmission rate soars


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — On Oct. 25, Rhode Island had a rate of 130 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the previous seven days.

While that meant the state still had high transmission of the virus, it was a stark improvement from a high of 249 reached a few weeks before.

Now, less than a month later, that rate has more than doubled to 266 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days as the state continues to see a surge of new infections.

The rate, which is used to track transmission within the community, hasn’t been that high in Rhode Island since mid-April and was as low as 10 over the summer.

On Thursday, the R.I. Department of Health reported 491 new cases and a 3.2% daily positivity rate, with more than 15,400 tests administered the previous day.

The daily case count has topped 400 the past three days, with 516 reported Tuesday and 419 reported Wednesday.

COVID-19 hospitalizations held steady at 107, while one more Rhode Islander died after contracting the disease, according to Thursday’s data.

Earlier this week, state health officials announced that all Rhode Islanders ages 18 and older are now able to get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

While the CDC recommends an additional dose for groups who face a higher risk of serious infection, like people 65 and older and those with underlying medical conditions, Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said most adults are now facing a higher risk of exposure due to the increasing transmission and the fact everyone is spending more time indoors.

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